Florence Bascom Geoscience Center

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Satellite imagery of eastern berm of Jim Foot Key in Florida Bay before Hurricane Irma and after
November 30, 2019

Impacts to island in Florida Bay following Hurricane Irma

Scientist from the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center first sampled four islands in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park, in April 2014 to collect cores to study sea level rise and storm history in the region.  In September 2017, Hurricane Irma (a category 4 storm at landfall in the Florida Keys) passed just to the west of our field sites.  The western-most of the four

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Florence Joins Powell for the Powell 150 Expedition
June 6, 2019

Florence Joins Powell for the Powell 150 Expedition

Florence Bascom joins John Wesley Powell on a 5-day leg of the Powell 150 Expedition, marking the 150th anniversary of the Powell Expedition, an exploration of the Green and Colorado Rivers that ended in the Grand Canyon. The purpose of the Powell 150 Expedition is to inform and engage the public around the geology and ecology of rivers in general and this river system in

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Photo of the eastern berm of Jim Foot Key. An arrow points to a growing breach in the berm after Hurricane Irma.
April 30, 2019

Breach in Eastern Berm of Jim Foot Key, Florida

In Photo: Eastern berm of Jim Foot Key, April 2019.  This photo taken from Florida Bay, looking in toward the center of the island (now covered in water).  The arrow points toward a breach in the berm, first noted in 2014, but the cut has deepened significantly after Hurricane Irma, and the island interior appears to be permanently tidal.  Loss of the berm structure is

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Juvenile mangroves on eastern berm of Jim Foot Key. Mangroves are intermingled with saltwort.
April 27, 2019

Juvenile Mangroves on Jim Foot Key, Florida

In Photo: Juvenile mangroves on eastern berm of Jim Foot Key, April 2019.  Mangroves are intermingled with saltwort, the dominant live vegetation on the damaged berms, and standing dead mangroves.  Grid is 25 cm high.  The question is whether these trees will mature fast enough to protect the berm from rising sea level. 

Scientist from the Florence Bascom Geoscience

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Interior mudflat on Jim Foot Key covered with saline water. Dead mangrove stumps and underwater grasses can be seen.
April 27, 2019

Interior Mudflat on Jim Foot Key, Florida

In Photo: Interior mudflat on Jim Foot Key covered with saline water, April 2019.  Stumps of dead mangroves (reportedly damaged by Hurricane Donna in 1960 (Craighead, 1962)) are visible projecting from the water.  Shadowed areas below the water are underwater grasses typically found in Florida Bay, now growing inside the island, indicating the mudflat is converting to an 

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Image showing mangroves that have lost all their leaves and a berm that is significantly thinner following Hurricane Irma. 
April 2, 2019

Berm at Jim Foot Key, Florida (2019)

In Photo:  The red circle indicates the same position as shown in the April 2014 photo. The mature mangrove trees have not recovered from the storm.  

Scientist from the Florence Bascom Geoscience Center first sampled four islands in Florida Bay, Everglades

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USGS scientists prepare for fieldwork in Florida Bay
January 29, 2019

Preparing for fieldwork in Florida Bay

Conducting field work after Hurricane Irma on Bob Allen Key in Florida Bay, Everglades National Park, January 29, 2018. Lynn Wingard (left) and Miriam Jones (right) consult field notes from 2014 to decide where to take samples. Photo: B. Stackhouse, USGS

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska.
December 31, 2018

Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. The black spruce forests found on permafrost plateaus are replaced with sedge- and moss-dominated bogs and fens, altering the ecosystem structure and function.

Scientist extract a sediment core from the permafrost plateaus in Alaska
December 31, 2018

Collecting Cores in Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Cores were collected from various areas of thawing permafrost-peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. 

Scientist collects permafrost cores in Alaska
December 31, 2018

Collecting Cores in Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Cores were collected from various areas of thawing permafrost-peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. 

Mangroves on the outside of a playa in Florida Bay
December 31, 2018

Mangroves Surrounding a Playa, Florida Bay 2018

Mangroves on the outside of a playa within Florida Bay.

Mangroves on the outside of a playa in Florida Bay
December 31, 2018

Mangroves Surrounding a Playa, Florida Bay 2018

Mangroves on the outside of a playa within Florida Bay.